So your child hasn’t been offered a place at your preferred school, what next? If you decide to appeal, there are a few key things to consider…

It’s important that you think about the reasons why your preferred school is the best fit for your child, rather than listing the reasons why you feel the one you have been allocated isn’t.

You may want to include information about the importance of creating local friendship groups, the need for a school which is local or within the transport catchment if you’re unable to drive. If you have siblings placed at separate schools, explain the difficulties of being in two places at once. Detail why a particular school appeals to your child over another school. What do they offer in terms of extracurricular activities or subjects that can be studied? This is especially relevant for secondary school settings. It’s best to write appeal letters yourself, as you know your child better than anyone else.

Seek advice

When considering making an appeal, contact the Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS) team, who are on hand to help. Sue Smyth, CEAS Team Leader, says: “If you’re unsure of the admission process or would like some advice about how to appeal, please don’t hesitate to email us. School admissions are very much a parental responsibility but for mobile service families it can be very confusing as there may be local differences to the process. Appeal hearings may appear daunting but our experienced education officers can guide you through. The majority of school admission appeals are unsuccessful – but the CEAS team can help you make the best case you can.” Go to

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